loading page

Hybridization capture of larch (Larix Mill.) chloroplast genomes from sedimentary ancient DNA reveals past changes of Siberian forest
  • +4
  • Luise Schulte,
  • Nadine Bernhardt,
  • Heike Zimmermann,
  • Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring,
  • Luidmila Pestryakova,
  • Laura Epp,
  • Ulrike Herzschuh
Luise Schulte
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Author Profile
Nadine Bernhardt
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Author Profile
Heike Zimmermann
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Author Profile
Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Author Profile
Luidmila Pestryakova
North-Eastern Federal University named after M K Ammosov
Author Profile
Laura Epp
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Author Profile
Ulrike Herzschuh
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Author Profile

Abstract

Siberian larch (Larix Mill.) forests dominate vast areas of northern Russia and contribute important ecosystem services to the world. It is important to understand the past dynamics of larches, in order to predict their likely response to a changing climate in the future. Sedimentary ancient DNA extracted from lake sediment cores can serve as archives to study past vegetation. However, the traditional method of studying sedimentary ancient DNA – metabarcoding – focuses on small fragments which cannot resolve Larix to species level nor allow the detailed study of population dynamics. Here we use shotgun sequencing and hybridization capture with long-range PCR-generated baits covering the complete Larix chloroplast genome to study Larix populations from a sediment core reaching back up to 6700 years in age from the Taymyr region in northern Siberia. In comparison to shotgun sequencing, hybridization capture results in an increase of taxonomically classified reads by several orders of magnitude and the recovery of near-complete chloroplast genomes of Larix. Variation in the chloroplast reads corroborate an invasion of Larix gmelinii into the range of Larix sibirica before 6700 years ago. Since then, both species have been present at the site, although larch populations have decreased with only a few trees remaining in what was once a forested area. This study demonstrates for the first time that hybridization capture applied to ancient DNA from lake sediments can provide genome-scale information and is a viable tool for studying past changes of a specific taxon.